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Course Description: American history is still often taught and understood through the lens of American exceptionalism. The alternative can seem like a litany of abuses and horrors. Somewhere in between lies the truth; a history full of dark and divisive events and moments, but also of impressive and inspiring stories and figures. In this class we will examine a handful of focal histories to consider both sides, and model how a skeptic can approach and engage the worst and best of American history. Topics to be focused on include: the Puritans, the Revolution, the Frontier, Women’s Suffrage, and the Greatest Generation.
No Required Books
Group Leader: Ben Railton is Professor of English Studies and American Studies at Fitchburg State University. He is the author of five books, most recently, We the People: The 500-Year Battle over Who is an American. He writes a daily American Studies blog and the biweekly “Considering History” column for the Saturday Evening Post online.
Course fee: $40.00
Worcester Institute for Senior Education (WISE)Assumption University, 500 Salisbury Street, Worcester MA 01609